4 tips for saving energy in Ottawa this summer

When people think of energy consumption, they tend to think of the winter. After all, that’s when you heat your home, roast dinner in the oven and snuggle up in front of the TV in the evenings. But summer can be every bit as hard on those monthly bills than the winter.

Between blasting the AC to cool off from the hot Ottawa summer to the increased electronics use by kids home from school, summer can be a real energy hog. And with the coronavirus quarantine measures likely to continue throughout the summer (albeit sporadically perhaps), you’ll be using your AC and appliances even more.

To help save energy this summer, and every summer in the future, there are a few simple tips Ottawans can follow.

Light Your Home Naturally During the Day

Rather than rely on your pot lights, floor lamps and ceiling lights to do the heavy lifting during the daytime, just open the curtains, raise the blinds and let Mother Nature do the work. Naturally lighting your home will save you money on your electricity bill and introduce your family to more vitamin-D-rich sunlight. It’s a win-win.

But what if you don’t want to open the windows for fear of heating your home and paying extra to run the air-conditioning? To fix that, it’s time to…

Replace Old Windows and Doors

Old or improperly installed windows and doors are lousy at keeping hot air out in the summer and hot air in during the winter, which means they wind up costing you more on your energy bill. For a long-term investment in lower monthly bills, consult with a window and door company in Ottawa about energy efficient installations.

In addition to saving you money, the low-E glass used in efficient windows allows in sunlight while minimizing the warming infrared or ultraviolet light.

Use the BBQ as Much as Possible

There’s a perfectly good fuel source sitting right there in your backyard. Rather than turning on the oven every time the family calls for homemade pizza, get creative and make pizza on the barbecue. It’s important to remember that the barbecue is a heat source like any other; you can even place frying pans or small pots on it to make breakfast.

Using the barbecue may mean using additional propane or charcoal, but you’ll save on your energy bill.

Get a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats utilize all sorts of tricks to minimize energy waste: they factor in the local weather forecast as well as your temperature preferences, and give you an easy way to manually program the temperature through an app. Energy Star estimates that a smart thermostat will save you $50 annually.

Before there were smart thermostats, though, there were programmable thermostats, which still work to lower your energy consumption, albeit in a less flashy way. Either way, this summer it’s time to throw out that old non-programmable thermostat.

Photos: Light bulb by Free-Photos Pixabay, Room by Hutomo Abrianto Unsplash